Collier Woods Scholarship to Support Black, African American Designers and Technicians

April 5, 2021

USITT has announced the formation of the Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarship to support Black and African American students with interests in lighting design and/or theatre production, technology, and associated theatrical fields.

“We are honored to be the home of the Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarship,” said David Grindle, USITT executive director. “USITT is committed to life-long learning, just as he was. I look forward to this scholarship growing to make training accessible to people who will be the future of our art and industry while honoring the memory of Collier Woods.”

Collier Woods
The scholarship is named to honor designer and technician
Collier Robert Woods, Jr.
Image courtesy of Anjali Austin-Woods.

Woods, who passed away in 2020 at age 64, was a veteran lighting designer and stage technician with extensive lighting design credits in opera, ballet, modern dance, music and theatre. He was a dedicated member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in Seattle and Sarasota, Fla., and a member of the United Scenic Artists in New York. A native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theater, a Master of Fine Arts in Design from the University of Washington, and taught at the University of Washington and Morgan State University.

Woods' design credits include performances at the Seattle Repertory Theater, Intiman Theater, and Bellevue Community College, as well as productions at Cockpit-In-Court Summer Theater in Maryland, PepsiCo Summerfare in New York, the University of Delaware's Professional Theater Training Program, and for Festival Sundiata performances of Gil Scott-Heron, Branford Marsalis, and Albert King in Seattle. Dance and opera companies he designed for include Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Pennsylvania Opera Theater. He served as Head Electrician for the First National tour of “The Color Purple,” Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. His national and international touring credits include Bruce Springsteen, “Riverdance,” and Broadway tours of “Phantom of the Opera,” “Showboat,” “The Full Monty,” “Hairspray,” “Spring Awakening,” “West Side Story,” “Anything Goes,” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

USITT expects to open applications for the inaugural round of Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarships in May and to announce the recipient(s) in August.

To make a donation to the fund, please click here.